From baseball to big business


October 5, 2022

Lee Whitmore

Lee Whitmore

When asked about his start in the pest control industry, U.S. Navy veteran Lee Whitmore can respond in one word: baseball.

With a chuckle, he goes on to explain that when he was stationed in Seal Beach, Calif., he was a volunteer coach for his children’s baseball league.

“One of the other fathers who was coaching with me liked my organizational skills and teaching techniques so much, he asked me to work with him at his pest control company,” Whitmore says. “I worked there part-time for about six months before my military obligation came up for renewal. He made me an offer to come to work for him full-time, and though it was a very difficult decision, I accepted his offer and started my second career.”


In 2016, Whitmore founded Quality Pest Services in Anaheim, Calif., and the company has achieved 30 percent growth or more each year since its inception. He predicts more modest growth in 2022, but has continued with substantive capital investments and an office expansion, which he expects will pay off long-term. He attributes the company’s success to the fact it does business a little differently:

Logo: Quality Pest Services“Our company provides structural fumigation and volumetric heat services, on a sub-contract basis, to various pest control companies throughout Southern California. I believe our success is directly correlated to two factors: hiring the best, most experienced fumigators in the market, and focusing our efforts on providing the highest quality, professional service available in our space.”

Several of Quality Pest Services’ managers and employees have owned and operated their own fumigation companies. Whitmore says he was able to attract them to his company by not only providing competitive wages and attractive benefits, but also by “including them in the process of developing and growing a company that is focused on long-term viability, and in providing them with a career-oriented employment option.”


Quality Pest Services’ sixth location just opened in Chula Vista, Calif., and the company now offers agricultural commodity fumigations and fogging services.

“Moving forward, we will continue to consider additional geographic expansion and increased service offerings that fall within our sub-contract service model,” Whitmore says.

While the fumigation market has leveled off somewhat this year, Whitmore is confident his company is ready to ride out the cycle until it’s on the upswing again.

“During these times, I feel maintaining operations at approximately the same level, working to weather the storm, and focusing on process improvement are each incredibly important,” he adds. “If you are successful in doing so, you will be well positioned to experience significant growth once again when conditions improve.”


Headquarters: Anaheim, Calif.
2021 revenue: $14.5 million
Projected 2022 revenue: $15.25 million
Projected increase: 5 percent, after five years of 30 percent or more annual growth

Lee Whitmore’s business tips:

  1. Know your business. “It is easy to become bogged down in other matters, like insurance, personnel management, etc., but I try to spend quite a bit of time maintaining technical expertise in our service offerings. I also am a big supporter of being actively involved with our industry associations.”
  2. Know your numbers. “Changes can occur overnight, and if you are not relying on accurate, timely financial data, your decisions not only could be a bit misaligned, they also can be damaging to your business’ overall success.”
  3. Know your people. “When you are small, it is easier to have everyone aligned with the company. As the business continues to grow, however, the employment experience can become impersonal to those working with you. It’s hard for employees to share in the goals of the organization if they feel like they are just a number. Directly communicating both positive and difficult matters with your employees from the top helps maintain collective focus and eliminate misunderstandings.”

About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 330-321-9754.

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